School pupils share ideas for Child Friendly City

More than 120 school pupils from Aberdeen gathered today to explore ideas for making their city a safe and welcoming place for youngsters.

Pupils from Harlaw Academy and the Grammar School and their primary feeders took part in the workshop, which will inform delivery of the City Centre Masterplan.

Education and Children’s Services Committee Convener Councillor John Wheeler said: “The workshop isn’t a paper exercise. The Council is implementing the Aberdeen City Centre Masterplan which gives us all an opportunity to transform our city centre.

“It’s important that get this right for everyone, and the input of the city’s youngsters continues to be invaluable in progressing the Masterplan.”

Vice Convener Councillor Lesley Dunbar said: “One of our greatest assets is the enthusiasm and imagination of our young people.

“No one is better placed to tell us how we might go about delivering a Child Friendly City that is a safer and nurturing place to be.”

The workshop was held at Harlaw Academy. Schools were asked to consult with pupils in advance about ways to make city centre more interactive and interesting for children and young people aged 3-18 years.

Secondary pupils acted as facilitators and the Council’s Creative Learning Team recorded ideas using multi-sensory approaches.

The workshop was based on themes in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child:

• Making the city centre welcoming, inclusive and safe (article 23 – a child with a disability has the right to live a full and decent life with dignity and independence)

• Creating friendly places for young people to go to relax, play and have fun (article 31 – every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities)

• Promoting local culture and the culture of all our citizens (article 30 – every child has the right to learn and use the language, customs and culture of their family)

• Promoting engagement with sporting and adventurous activities (article 29 – education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities)

The schools involved in the workshop were Harlaw Academy and feeder primaries Broomhill, Ferryhill, and Kaimhill; and Aberdeen Grammar and feeder primaries Skene Square, Gilcomstoun, St Joseph’s, Ashley Road and Mile End.









The ideas generated – which ranged from aquariums to street sports to cultural enterprises – will be shared with other schools for feedback.

The City Centre Masterplan, which was unanimously adopted by Aberdeen City Council in June 2015, has 50 projects ranging from new office developments and public realm to supporting skills training and new events.

Pupils at city schools have already provided feedback on projects to revitalise Union Terrace Gardens and to redevelop Provost Skene’s House as a new visitor attraction.

The Masterplan work will support Aberdeen City Council’s effort to become a Unicef Child Friendly City – a place where all children, including the most vulnerable, feel safe, heard and nurtured.

The Council is already working closely with Unicef UK to develop the “Rights Respecting School Award”.